Faith community nurses (FCNs) remain on the forefront of serving those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Frequently, work of FCNs includes coordinating COVID-19 vaccine clinics in local settings. Cari Moodie, FCN director, along with Health Ministries Association (HMA) board members, drafted a statement to guide in this essential work.
Visit HMAssoc.org for membership information, COVID-19 resources, webinars, and areas of FCN collaboration.
This statement was used by HMA during the pandemic.
Faith Communities and Faith Community Nurses (FCN) Answering the Call to Serve Our Communities During the Global COVID-19 Pandemica
Health Ministries Association (HMA) supports the role of Faith Communities and Faith Community Nurses (FCNs) in answering the call to play a vital role in combating the COVID-19 crisis. To be the most effective, it is recommended that all entities collaborate with federal, state, and local healthcare agencies for the most current and reliable information. The following links are trusted sources of accurate, up-to-date information on the COVID-19 virus.
HMAssoc.org: Links to updates and denominational resources nursingworld.org: ANA's nurses COVID-19 statement cdc.gov: up-to-date COVID-19 information and guidelines
Suggested Guidelines for the Faith Community: In addition to the organizations stated above, we recommend working in collaboration with your chosen denomination if applicable. There are shared resources available from a variety of faith communities and faith traditions. Areas of service may include but are not limited to
- promoting and demonstrating adherence to COVID-19 guidelines
- providing virtual or distanced assistance in helping individuals navigate the registration process for vaccines
- arranging transportation for individuals to vaccine clinics; ensure drivers have proper PPE; follow proper safe distancing protocol; follow faith community's policy for transporting individuals
- serving as a vaccination clinic site in collaboration with county and/or local healthcare entity when needed.
Guidelines for the Faith Community Nurse: HMA encourages all FCNs to participate in the COVID-19 campaign. Areas of FCN service may include but are not limited to
- Educator: Provides ongoing education about COVID-19 health guidelines in newsletter/bulletin announcements, updates on local vaccine clinics, hosts virtual educational presentation on current safety precautions, etc.
- Coordinator: Arranges transportation, postvaccine follow-up either virtually or by phone call, assists faith communities in reopening for in-person services (when appropriate for your local area), uses current health and safety recommendations, and follows state and local guidelines.
- Advocate: Assists individuals in scheduling vaccine appointments, assists in seeking follow-up care as needed, provides resources for any needs that arise.
- Vaccinator: Collaborates with a healthcare agency, department of health, etc., serves as part of the vaccination team, etc.
- Clinical observer: Participates as a member of the vaccination team in collaboration with a healthcare agency and/or department of health and assists in screening and observation of vaccine recipients.
Recommendations for FCNs serving as Vaccinators and Clinical Observers:
- Check state and collaborating agency for specific policies and procedures.
- Hold a valid and unencumbered RN professional license (Refer to state guidelines, as some states are issuing temporary licenses to address shortages).
- Give proof of 2020 flu vaccine or exemption form on file.
- Complete health requirements per collaborating agency policy.
- Review safety protocols, HIPAA guidelines, clinical competencies.
- Additional documentation such as a resume and/or criminal background checks may be required.
All faith community nurses are guided by:
- American Nurses Association. (2015). Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice.
- American Nurses Association & Health Ministries Association. (2017). Faith Community Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, 3rd Edition, American Nurses Association.
- American Nurses Association. (2015). Code of Ethics with Interpretative Statements.
- American Nurses Association. (2015). Guide to Nursing's Social Policy Statement: Understanding the Profession from Social Contract to Social Covenant.
Health Ministries Association is available for assisting and providing resources for all who are answering the call to serve. Visit www.hmassoc.org for more information.
aCopyright © 2021 Health Ministries Association. Used with permission.